Last update:
2019-09-01

Lunik IX Roma settlement: potable water monitored by police and segregated by wall in Košice, Slovak Republic

In 2005 Roma people were forced to live in hazardous and unhealthy environmental and housing conditions in a segregated settlement in Košice’s called Luník IX just on the outskirts of the town


Description:

In 2005 Roma people were forced to live in unsafe, hazardous and unhealthy environmental and housing conditions in Košice’s called Luník IX settlment, situated just on the outskirts of the town[1]. Thus the new settlement became a segregated Roma community as a result of specific interventions by the local government to remove and to separate Roma Lunik IX from the non-Roma residents in Lunik VIII  --- by a physically built segregation wall in 2013 [1] [2] [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lunik IX Roma settlement: potable water monitored by police and segregated by wall in Košice, Slovak Republic
Country:Slovak Republic
State or province:Košice
Location of conflict:Lunik IX
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The city, the largest in eastern Slovakia, received £51million when it was named the European Capital of Culture 2013 alongside Marseille, France. The money is to be invested into the city's infrastructure, creative industries and tourism --- but not for the Roma. Instead the Roma were pushed on the outskirts, into a ghetto, surrounded by wall and controlled water access by the police [1]. The construction of the wall costed between 10 000 and 13 000 euros [5]. International Roma Rights Activists [refused to reveal their identities] gathered together and demolished one part of the built segregation wall. However, the local government and the police criminalised the act of protest [5].

Level of Investment:13,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:5,500
Start of the conflict:01/01/2005
Relevant government actors:The mayor of the Košice.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:European Roma Right Center (ERRC) Open letter to the Prime Minister of Slovakia http://www.errc.org/uploads/upload_en/file/slovakia-letter-of-concern-maslickovo-english-25-january-2016.pdf
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Property damage/arson
Direct action to demolish a section of the wall
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Fires
Potential: Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsLack of water and sanitacion; lack of energy ("energy poverty") in winter
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Migration/displacement
Repression
Development of alternatives:There is no alternative being proposed for the discriminated and segregated Roma. The environmental conditions and the water cut off monitored by the police is the "solution" the Slovak government implemented.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:No, the eviction and the segregation wall has been built, which as a consequence constructed a ghetto were Roma have to live in. The environmental conditions both uncollected waste and controlled water cut offs is a highly discriminated and racist act against the Roma in Linuk IX.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] WINTER WITHOUT HEATING OR HOT WATER FOR ROMA IN LUNIK IX
[click to view]

[2] AFTER DEATH OF FIVE SMALL CHILDREN, INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION CALLS SLOVAK AUTHORITIES TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
[click to view]

[3] Mail Online 2013: Slumdogs of Slovakia: This city was given £51million when it was named European capital of culture... so why are Roma children still living in such horrifying squalor?
[click to view]

[4] Activists demolish part of Roma wall. Slovak Spectator. 2014
[click to view]

[5] The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) Open Letter to Slovak Prime Minister.
[click to view]

Other documents

Plice monitoring water collection in Lunik IX Running water is cut off in most flats and this tap, only available during certain hours, is monitored by the police. Soure: Mail Online
[click to view]

Social housing in Kosice without water and heating Source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/celebrating-culture-of-segregation/
[click to view]

A woman in Kosice washing clothes A woman in a improvised washing room, since the authorities have not provided basic water access in the social housing project Source: https://socialdocumentary.net/exhibit/Artur_Conka/4554
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanacek ICTA-UAB resercher
Last update01/09/2019
Comments
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